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Oliver Wyman and Alstom recently collaborated on a study to chart a new course for urban mobility. At a time when the world’s cities face unprecedented transportation challenges, this research proposes a multifaceted approach to revolutionize how we move within our urban environments.

Urban mobility includes a diverse range of stakeholders, from passengers and freight operators to city authorities and transport operators. Each plays a vital role in building sustainable, efficient, and inclusive transportation networks. This study challenges traditional approaches to urban mobility to new heights of sustainability. Recognizing the critical role of mass transit, especially rail, it underscores the limitations of current mobility services and the necessity for comprehensive, well-integrated transportation strategies.

Five transformative scenarios for more sustainable urban mobility

The 15-minute city model

Imagine living in a neighborhood where every essential service is just a 15-minute journey away. This scenario proposes a radical reduction in commute times and pollution levels.

Car-free zones

Picture urban centers free from the congestion of cars, giving priority to greener, alternative modes of transport.

Shared mobility only

This vision involves a shift from private vehicle ownership to shared transportation modes, transforming the very fabric of urban travel.

Mobility orchestrator

Here, artificial intelligence and data analytics come into play, optimizing transportation networks and offering real-time travel insights.

Autonomous mobility only

The future could see us relying solely on autonomous vehicles, promising enhanced efficiency, and safety.

These scenarios were applied to three case studies: the urban contexts of San Francisco, Dubai, and Lagos. Each scenario was meticulously assessed for potential impact and feasibility, considering factors such as utilization, efficiency, sustainability, and equity.

Tailored approaches for specific urban needs

The research shows that it is vital to consider each city’s specific context, since there is no one-size-fits-all solution, and the most effective approach may involve combining different scenarios to suit specific urban needs. For the three case studies, the following solutions are proposed:

San Francisco: Here, the 15-minute city and shared mobility concepts are seen as most beneficial, aligning with the city’s sustainability goals.

Dubai: With its infrastructure favoring autonomous vehicles, Dubai presents a unique case where autonomous mobility is particularly promising.

Lagos: Given its congestion and infrastructural challenges, Lagos stands to benefit most from shared mobility and the mobility orchestrator model.

Implementing these scenarios demands technological advancements like autonomous vehicles, data platforms for mobility, traffic control technologies, and significant infrastructural developments. As such, collaborative efforts and substantial investments are needed to enhance urban transportation. The goal is clear: a holistic approach is needed to create transportation systems that are not just efficient and sustainable, but also inclusive and adaptable to the evolving needs of our urban landscapes.